“You could have killed one of us”
It’s back to school for speeding offenders, as children take hard-hitting message to drivers breaking 20mph speed limit
School children from Ward End Primary spent a day asking speeding drivers to account for their actions, after they were caught breaking a 20mph speed limit outside the school.
Over the course of three hours 19 drivers were stopped by West Midlands Police and given the opportunity to face a panel of school children at a ‘Kids’ Court’, or face points on their license and a £100 fine.
Those who were driving at excessive speeds of 37mph or more were immediately reported.
The powerful panel of five pupils didn’t hold back on their questions, at one point asking drivers – ‘do you realise you could have killed one of us?’
It is now widely accepted that the difference between 20 and 30 miles per hour is not only significant in terms of whether a child survives, it also makes a big difference on the severity of their injuries.
The children also told drivers that children under the age of eight are unable to accurately judge the speed of vehicles traveling over 20mph due to early brain development.
Several drivers were moved to tears – one driver stated:
“After speaking with the children, I am now very aware of the difference that reducing my speed can make. I won’t be speeding again.”
Maleeha Majid, aged nine, said:
“A lot of the drivers were not paying attention so were not aware of the speed limit. Slower is safer not just for us but for adults too.”
Councillor Stewart Stacey, Cabinet Member for Transport and Roads at Birmingham City Council, said:
“Activities like Kids’ Court aren’t about giving offenders an easy option to avoid points on their license, nor is it about some mythical ‘war on motorists’. It is based on one simple statement – slower is safer.
“The vast majority of drivers who took part in the exercise told us that speaking to the children has had a huge impact on them and that they will go away and talk about it with their friends and families to help spread the message.”
Chief Inspector Jared White, of West Midlands Police, said:
“The impact of having to face young children is far greater than being given a warning by a police officer or receiving a fine and three points. This initiative highlights the dangers and raises the awareness of speeding outside schools not only for motorists, but for the children as well.”
Education is a vital part of Birmingham’s 20mph “Slower is Safer” campaign. Following this ‘Kids Court’ activity, all schools within the 20mph areas will be invited to take part in a ‘Slower is Safer’ poster design competition. The winning entries will be displayed on some of Birmingham City Council’s refuse trucks.
Birmingham City Council’s 20mph Slower is Safer programme is being delivered in partnership with West Midlands Police and West Midlands Fire Service and will ultimately see the vast majority of the city’s streets covered by a 20mph speed limit.
Part of the campaign includes stopping drivers who are driving over the speed limit in an effort to change their attitude towards driving on the roads.
Speed limits of 20mph are increasingly being seen on residential streets across the UK and they’re popular: recent Department of Transport research showed 73 per cent of people are in favour.
The new speed limits will be rolled out on a phased basis commencing with the first scheme covering approximately one fifth the city by area, comprising the entire city centre within the A4540, plus areas to the east and south of the city centre.
For updates visit www.birmingham.gov.uk/20mph
You can also follow the campaign on twitter (@bham20mph) or like the Facebook page
- Birmingham Connected, BCC’s long-term strategy for transport, highlights how good quality transport will help to make Birmingham successful, vibrant, healthy and sustainable. Road safety is essential to this and the vision for safer roads, people and vehicles detailed in the Birmingham Road Safety Strategy has been making considerable progress in a number of areas during recent months. Combining engineering, enforcement and education the aim is to reduce the number of road collisions whilst increasing the number of people choosing to walk or cycle. 20mph speed limits are a key element of this.
- 20mph Slower is safer is designed to make residential streets safer for everyone. It is one of a number of measures being introduced to help to improve traffic flow, support sustainable transport and active travel and help to make Birmingham a more positive place to live and work.
- The lower speed limit will be introduced in phases which started with the city centre, plus areas to the east and south of the city centre. This includes all or part of the wards of Aston, Bordesley Green, Brandwood, Hodge Hill, Ladywood, Moseley and Kings Heath, Nechells, Sparkbrook, Springfield, South Yardley, and Washwood Heath.
- Funding has now been secured to implement a fourth pilot area covering significant most of the wards of Bournville, Edgbaston, Harborne and Selly Oak. Consultation on which roads to include will take place later in 2016.
- Birmingham’s 20mph scheme is not an expanded 20 mph zone. It is a permanent maximum speed limit reduction delivered under a Traffic Regulation Order (TRO). A Scheme is different to a “zone”. Like many other large cities Birmingham, has adopted a “20mph scheme”. A 20mph scheme is one where a large majority of roads adopt a 20mph speed limit. An area with a 20mph speed limit will only have 20mph speed limit signs. There are no physical features such as speed humps or pinch points. The 20mph speed limit is self-enforcing. Because a scheme takes a ‘wide area’ approach it seeks to normalise the lower speed limit, removing the requirement for traffic calming measures. An area with a 20mph zone will have physical traffic calming measures such as speed humps, chicanes, etc).
- 20mph Slower is safer works with communities who want to see their roads become safer and their communities become more pleasant places to live and work.
- According to ROSPA, for every 1 mph decrease in speed, accident rates reduce by approximately 5%.
- A study into the impact of traffic on children found the dominance of cars on residential roads has substantially damaged young people’s quality of life in urban and rural areas.
- Birmingham City Council has a policy in support of 20mph speed limits in residential areas and other appropriate locations including: those defined as ‘primary shopping frontages’ or ‘secondary shopping frontages’; A and B roads with school entrances or schools; and roads with other local trip attracters such as parks or leisure facilities, health centres and hospitals, and public transport hubs and interchanges.
- Proposals for further roll-out will be developed in due course based on lessons learnt from the pilot schemes and taking into account: the initial consultation results; a more objective assessment based on road safety data (to include the levels of collisions and the number of pedestrian, cycling and child accidents); complementary schemes; and the availability of funding.